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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1140 ..

is too hard. Just around the corner from the skate park at the adventure park there are large chunks of protective matting that have just been ripped out and have never been fixed. There are giant potholes. Young people and children deserve fun, clean and safe spaces to enjoy. We in this chamber are responsible to ensure that this is the case.

The Friends of Yerrabi Pond community group have been some of the most passionate advocates for breathing new life into the area. I have been taken aback by their enthusiasm and their go-get-’em attitude. They have been proactively asking government to listen and to act upon these longstanding concerns. Their efforts have been met with lots of support in the form of signatures on the petition and also support from MLAs in this place.

A few weeks ago I joined some dedicated locals to clean up Yerrabi Pond. This was not about a petition. This was just a good way to celebrate Clean Up Australia Day. The number of people who volunteered their Saturday to come along to Yerrabi Pond to help clean it up showed me just how passionate people are about making their local space a wonderful place to be. They did not get anything out of it. They just wanted to make Yerrabi Pond a little bit more beautiful.

I think, for the most part in this place, we are all on the same page in that we need to make some real improvements to Yerrabi Pond. This year, Labor promised to make upgrades to our urban spaces. The fix Yerrabi Pond petition makes a few simple requests: firstly, that the government support the establishment of a Friends of Yerrabi Pond association to aid community consultation; secondly, that the government upgrade the areas around the pond; and, finally, that the government provide new toilet facilities, more bins, proper signage and improved pathways.

I do not think that these are unreasonable requests. We want a town that feels clean, safe and cared for. Creating community spaces that properly provide for Gungahlin residents is essential for achieving this goal. While the facilities around Yerrabi Pond may have been reasonable over 20 years ago, the current state of services is not good enough.

On behalf of the Gungahlin community, I am calling on the government to consider further upgrades to Yerrabi Pond, to give it the new lease on life that it deserves. Gungahlin residents see the pond’s potential to become an amazing community space. I share their belief that the pond can and should be brought up to the same standard as other district parks. While the basics must be addressed first, I urge the government to consider what Yerrabi Pond could look like if we really dedicated the time and resources to revitalise this place. I hope that all members of the Assembly can join me to make these improvements happen.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (10.19): I am delighted to get to my feet as a proud Liberal member for Yerrabi to heartily support this motion. The two key points that I want to make are these. Firstly, this motion is long overdue. Yerrabi Pond has been neglected for years—many years—by this government and it is about time they took responsibility for its shabby state. Secondly, this motion is based on a petition by the Friends of Yerrabi Pond. The person who has led that charge is a gentleman with us in the chamber today, John Beagle. I salute him for his leadership, his gumption, and his

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